Pumpkin Seeds Nutrition Data: Glycemic Index, Calories, Fat, Carbs, Fiber, Vitamins and Minerals
Here is the nutritional properties of raw pumpkin seeds, including calories, carbohydrates, fat, protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals and other beneficial nutrients they contain.
Also find out their glycemic index and why snacking on these tasty green seeds, also known as pepitas, is a simple way to lose weight.
Calories in Pepitas
Nutritional data shows pumpkin seeds have 125 calories per 1 ounce (28 grams) and 285 calories per cup (64 grams) of raw pepitas.
Pumpkin seeds are very filling, despite their high calorie count. You don’t need to eat a large amount of them.
In fact, due to their high levels of satiety, most people find it quite difficult to eat more than a handful.
Pumpkin Seed Glycemic Index
Raw pumpkin seeds have a very low glycemic index of 10 and are considered to have a negligible glycemic load. This means they won’t cause sugar spikes and crashes, a significant factor in weight gain.
Their low glycemic index and high levels of satiety (eating them really fills you up) means you’re unlikely to put on weight snacking on pepitas.
In fact, if you were to swap high carb snacks like potato crisps for a bag of raw organic seeds like these, you’d be far more likely to lose excess body fat instead.
An ounce of pepitas contains 5.4 grams of fat. According to nutrition information, this is primarily monounsaturated fat (1.7 grams) and polyunsaturated (2.5 grams), with only 1 gram of saturated fat.
Old nutritional advice tended to focus far too much on the amount of fat in foods, without recognizing how important natural fatty acids are for wellness and wellbeing.
If you’re watching your weight then simple carbohydrates, not fat, is the macro-nutrient you really should be concerned about.
Carbs in Pumpkin Seeds
An ounce of pumpkin seeds has only 4 grams of carbohydrates. These are complex carbs that are much slower to digest than simple carbs.
Raw pepitas are keto friendly and make a great addition to low carb diets. They are particularly useful for snacking between meals (most keto based weight loss plans have few good snack options).
High Fiber Content
Nutritional data shows pumpkin seeds have beneficial amounts of fiber for digestive health.
One ounce contains around 1 gram of dietary fiber, predominantly insoluble with a little soluble fiber as well.
This figure is for those commercially available without the shell. One way to really increase the fiber content of pepitas is to eat them straight out of the pumpkins you use for cooking.
You can lightly fry them on a low heat with coconut oil and tamari for an amazing taste. This will soften up the shells, but try not to cook them for too long or with too much heat to preserve the valuable fatty acids.
Protein Levels and Beneficial Amino Acids
Raw pumpkin seeds have one of the highest protein content of any commonly eaten seed. At 9 grams of protein per 28 grams (1 ounce) of seeds they are close to a full third protein.
Vegetarians looking to increase their protein intake can snack on pumpkin seeds, or add them to meals, for a healthy source of vegan amino acids.
High in Tryptophan
Pepitas are high in tryptophan, an important amino acid that converts to the neurotransmitters in your brain.
A good intake of tryptophan in your diet can have a beneficial effect on your mood, reduce anxiety and help improve sleeping patterns.
A deficiency of tryptophan on the other hand is associated with increased stress levels and trouble sleeping.
Cucurbitacin for Worms
Raw pumpkin seeds contain an unusual amino acid called cucurbitacin which paralyzes intestinal worms in your lower intestine.
Ground Styrian seeds mixed into a paste is a traditional German cure for tapeworms and there’s detailed instructions on how to use pumpkin seeds for parasites here.
These great tasting seeds are a beneficial source of minerals and have high levels of magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, iron, copper and zinc.
There are also good amounts of potassium, sodium and selenium, particularly in organic pepitas.
Magnesium is vital for maintaining healthy nerve and muscle function, supporting your immune system, energy metabolism and a wide variety of vital processes within your body. Despite its importance, many people eating a Western diet are lacking in magnesium.
Just a quarter of a cup of pumpkin seeds has close to half the recommended daily allowance of magnesium (though I’d really recommend getting more than that).
Rich in Zinc
Zinc is particularly good for men and the high levels found in pumpkin seeds may be one of the reasons it has such a beneficial effect on the prostate gland.
Zinc is also involved in maintaining proper glucose levels, preventing infections, wound healing and skin repair and is necessary for a healthy libido.
Vitamins in Raw Pepitas
Pumpkin seeds contain a variety of B vitamins and a small amount of vitamin C. They also have good levels of vitamin E and the often hard to get vitamin K.
Source of Gamma-Tocopherol
When raw, the seeds of pumpkin are particularly high in the gamma-tocopherol form of vitamin E.
Gamma-tocopherol is considered to be much more of an effective antioxidant and anti-inflammatory than the more common alpha-tocopherol form of vitamin E.
Natural Vitamin K
Vitamin K is a fat soluble vitamin that many people are deficient in due to few dietary sources.
A good intake helps maintain proper bone density and reduces your risk of illnesses associated with abnormal calcium metabolism.
Snacking on the raw seeds at work or in the evening is a simple and delicious way to get more of this valuable nutrient into your diet.
Other Pumpkin Seed Nutrition
Raw pepitas are high in the antioxidant lutein, especially important for healthy eyes. The gamma-tocopherol form of vitamin E, selenium and zinc already mentioned are also potent antioxidants.
There are significant levels of phytosterols in pumpkin seeds (around 260 mg per 100 grams). Phytosterol consumption has been shown in research studies help decrease LDL cholesterol absorption.
Pumpkin seeds also contain a compound called delta-7-sterine that helps to protect men’s prostate gland from benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), an enlargement of the prostate.
Eating raw and organic seeds like these is a good way to get delta-7-sterine into your diet. Pumpkin seed oil is an even more concentrated source though.
Many men have reported regular use of the oil to be beneficial for treating prostate problems and preventing hair loss.
Despite their calories, raw pumpkin seeds are low in carbs and have a very low glycemic index. They are also high in protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals and have a lot of other beneficial nutrition in them.
They quickly fill you up and make for a tasty and unusually healthy snack. If you’ve never tried them before, the next page has where to find the best pumpkin seeds at a low price so you can enjoy them more often.